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869. 1. In Homer ὥς τε, ὡς εἰ, and ὡς εἴ τε are used in a sense approaching that of ὥσπερ in Attic Greek. Ὡς here always expresses a comparison, and when εἰ is added the form must originally have included a condition; but, even in Homer, the force of εἰ had become so weakened that it is hardly possible that any actual verb was felt to be implied in the expression. E.g. Ἀχαιῶν οἶτον ἀείδεις, ὥς τέ που αὐτὸς παρεὼν ἄλλου ἀκούσας, “you sing as if you had been present yourself or had heard from another.” Od. viii. 490. Κίρκῃ ἐπήιξα ὥς τε κτάμεναι μενεαίνων, “I rushed upon Circe as if I were eager to kill her.” Od. x. 322: so x. 295. Τὸν δ᾽ γέρων ἐὺ ἔτρεφεν, ἀμφαγαπάζομενος ὡς εἴ θ᾽ ἑὸν υἱὸν ἐόντα, welcoming him as (if he had been) his own son. Il. xvi. 191. Πόλλ᾽ ὀλοφυρόμενοι ὡς εἰ θανατόνδε κιόντα, as (if he were) going to death. Il. xxiv. 327. Τίς νύ σε τοιάδ᾽ ἔρεξεν, ὡς εἴ τι κακὸν ῥέζουσαν ἐνωπῇ, “as if you were doing any evil openly.” Il. v. 373. Καπνὸς γίγνεται ἐξ αὐτῆς, ὡς εἰ πυρὸς αἰθομένοιο, as (if) when a fire is burning. Il. xxii. 149; so Od. xix. 39.

2. In Homer ὡς εἰ may have a noun without a participle. Here the comparative force is specially clear, as the difficulty of supplying a verb with εἰ is specially great: see μ᾽ ἀσύφηλον ἔρεξεν ὡς εἴ τιν᾽ ἀτίμητον μετανάστην, he made me of no account, like some dishonoured stranger, Il. ix. 648, Il. xvi. 59.So ὡς εἴ τε κατὰ ῥόον, as if down stream, Od. xiv. 254; ὥς τε περὶ ψυχῆς, as it were for my life, Od. ix. 423.1

1 See Lange, Partikel EI, pp. 235-243. I cannot follow Lange (p. 241), in making the Attic ὡς with the participle the natural successor of the Homeric ὡς εἰ with the participle.

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